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Monday, December 8, 2008

Music maker

Flautist Amit Majumdar’s creation — transparent flute — is creating the right notes at music concerts. He is the only musician in the country who makes acrylic flutes
He makes music, both literally and figuratively. While he is a flautist par excellence, he is also into making the instrument. But he likes to put things in the right perspective at the very beginning. As he says, he is a flautist first, who also manufactures flutes. "I would not even call flute-making my hobby; rather it’s my need," points out Amit Majumdar, who is one of the few flute-makers in the country and the only one who makes acrylic flute, which is transparent in colour. But what makes Amit’s achievements so interesting is that whenever he faces a problem he manages to turn it into success. "I never thought that I would be in the business of flute-making. It was purely need-based. After joining Gandharva Mahavidyalaya to learn to play the flute, I had to get one to practice. But the ones available in the market were quite expensive. Since no one in my family is into music, they didn’t realize the difference between a professional Indian classical flute and those available in the market. So they failed to understand why I couldn’t buy a common flute at Rs.25 instead of going for something as exorbitant as Rs.2500. Even though I finally managed to buy one, I was not happy with its tonal quality. So I started toying with the idea of making flutes myself," recalls Amit.
Then his experimentation with the instrument began. "Initially I got bamboo from Dibrugarh, Assam. It is quite a tedious job as to make the flute you need the bamboo of specific measurements. Then begins the technical part, which I would say is pure physics," informs this Mayur Vihar resident, who has a long list of satisfied clientele all over the world.
"But besides the technical part, you have to be a very good flautist. So before starting this venture I had to make sure that I had perfected the art. So a lot of credit for this goes to my guru Pt. Kailash Sharma of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya. These flutes are perfectly tuned with Taanpura at 440hz.freq.as base. And from the feedback that I get from those who have bought flutes from me, I think I am doing fine," states Amit, who is really proud of the tonal quality of his flutes. And the pending orders that he has only confirm the success of his venture. As for his acrylic flutes, the first of its kind in the country, he says that he actually wanted to make a glass flute. "But since the instruments required were too expensive, I tried acrylic pipe which turned out be to very good. I have used it myself in two concerts. While its tonal quality, one of the major factors of a good flute, is very good, the sound that it creates on the microphone is very effective. So that makes it ideal for live concerts," says Amit. The prices of a bamboo flute ranges from Rs.1000 to Rs. 5500 while a transparent flute costs about Rs.3000 to Rs.7500.
Amit is also part of two fusion groups - Variation, a rock fusion, and Collegium, Jazz fusion. While for Variation he is the lead musician who creates compositions based on Indian ragas, he is one of the accompanying musicians of the latter. Besides giving live concerts, he also teaches at Mother’s International School, New Delhi.
Well, for someone who first got exposure to flutes by listening to a neighbour playing the instrument, he sure has come a long way. "The first time I heard someone playing the flute was a ’pados ke bhaiya’. I was so impressed by its melody that I asked him to teach me. It was he who told me to join Gandharva Mahaviyalaya. Now he learns from me," smiles Amit.


nituscorner December 8, 2008 at 9:22 PM  

Wow that was an interesting read!!!

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